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seems to have entered cordially into the plan. At this period Doddridge was a comparative stranger to Watts: the former remarks in a postscript to the Rev. Matthew Clarke, Nov. 17, 1725, “Mr. Watts will be glad to hear that Mrs. Jennings is well. He hardly remembers that he ever saw me, otherwise I should be very glad to send my respects to him; for I have received so much entertainment and advantage from his writings, that I cannot but have an affection for his person, and should think myself happy if providence should ever give me an opportunity of cultivating an acquaintance with him.” The private approval of Dr. Watts having been obtained, and the public sanction of a general meeting of ministers at Lutterworth, April 10th, 1729, Doddridge commenced his labours as a theological tutor, which brought him into frequent correspondence with the subject of this memoir.

It must have been towards the close of the year 1728, that Dr. Watts published his “ Book of Catechisms.” In 1727 a request was made to him by Sir Gilbert Elliot, to undertake the composition of a catechism ; in April, 1728, we find him writing to Mr. Say in answer to a similar wish, that several schemes were already drawn out for the purpose; and in 1729 a discourse on catechetical instruction appeared, connected with a second edition of the catechisms.

The attention paid by the early nonconformists to the scriptural instruction of the young was most exemplary, and formed in some cases the most laborious part of pastoral duty. Of the Rev. John Ratcliffe, pastor of the presbyterian church, Jamaica Row, Rotherhithe, from 1705 to 1708, his biographer relates, “He entirely devoted every Monday, from five in the morning to eight at night, for the several parts of the work. His catechumens were young persons of all parties, without any distinction of denominations, if they were but willing to receive the benefit of his assistance. Certain hours in the morning were taken up in hearing the younger children recite the answers of the Assembly's Catechism; those of

some further standing being employed to hear them, and others to take care to preserve order, and an exact account of every one's proficiency and behaviour. Mr. Ratcliffe afterwards spent two hours in examining those that were more grown, upon the parts and sense of an answer, or more frequently upon a text of scripture, which he closed with some practical inferences from the subject before them, a. pathetical exhortation suited to the capacities and temptations of children, and an earnest prayer for them. After dinner the time was filled up till five with some profitable and free conversation, and the evening was spent in like endeavours for the good of the other sex. The numbers thus instructed were no less than ten thousand, within the eight years he was employed in it. Sometimes there have been no less than two thousand present on a day."* The catechism chiefly in use among the dissenters, was that drawn up by the assembly of divines at Westminster; but both in sentiment, style, and language, this formulary is obriously unfitted for children. Easier exercises had, indeed, been prepared by Owen, Bowles, Gouge, M. Henry, Noble, Cotton, and others; but these were not sufficiently general and popular, to render Watts's labours unnecessary. The collection of catechisms which he furnished, contains “ The Child's First and Second" —“The Assembly's Shorter Catechism, with Explanations"

“A Preservative from the Sins and Follies of Childhood, drawn up in the way of Question and Answer" —“The Catechism of Scriptural Names" — “The Historical Catechism"- and“ A Large Collection of Remarkable Scriptural Names.” Several of these pieces have obtained an extensive circulation, and the first especially is an established favourite in the schools and families of dissenters. In the year 1729, a second edition of them appeared, collected into one volume, to which a judicious essay was attached, “On the way of

Wilson's Hist. of Diss. Chur. iv. 355.

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some further standing being employed to hear them, and others to take care to preserve order, and an exact account of every one's proficiency and behaviour. Mr. Ratcliffe afterwards spent two hours in examining those that were more grown, upon the parts and sense of an answer, or more frequently upon a text of scripture, which he closed with some practical inferences from the subject before them, a pathetical exhortation suited to the capacities and temptations of children, and an earnest prayer for them. After dinner the time was filled up till five with some profitable and free conversation, and the evening was spent in like endeavours for the good of the other sex. The numbers thus instructed were no less than ten thousand, within the eight years he was employed in it. Sometimes there have been no less than two thousand present on a day."* The catechism chiefly in use among the dissenters, was that drawn up by the assembly of divines at Westminster; but both in sentiment, style, and language, this formulary is obviously unfitted for children. Easier exercises had, indeed, been prepared by Owen, Bowles, Gouge, M. Henry, Noble, Cotton, and others; but these were not sufficiently general and popular, to render Watts's labours unnecessary. The collection of catechisms which he furnished, contains "The Child's First and Second"

“The Assembly's Shorter Catechism, with Explanations"

"A Preservative from the Sins and Follies of Childhood, drawn up in the way of Question and Answer" _“The Catechism of Scriptural Names" -“ The Historical Catechism”—and “A Large Collection of Remarkable Scriptural Names.” Several of these pieces have obtained an extensive circulation, and the first especially is an established favourite in the schools and families of dissenters. In the year 1729, a second edition of them appeared, collected into one volume, to which a judicious essay was attached, “On the way of

Wilson's Hist, of Diss. Chur. iv. 335.

Instruction by Catechisms, and of the best manner of composing them.”

In 1729 appeared “A Practical Discourse of Reconciliation between God and Man, by the late learned and pious Mr. John Reynolds.” To this was prefixed a recommendatory preface by Dr. Watts, dated, “London, Oct. 19, 1728."* This "great and excellent man,” as he terms him, poet, divine, and scholar, resided a considerable period at Shrewsbury, and removed to London in the year 1718. He was the author of many ingenious and useful works, a contributor to the Occasional Papers, and one of Matthew Henry's continuators. In his preface Dr. Watts criticises the various productions of his friend; and observes with reference to the treatise he edited, “whosoever can read it through with an attentive mind, and yet after all can obstinately refuse to be reconciled to the God of heaven, has just reason to fear that the 'god of this world has blinded their eyes,' and hardened their hearts, in order to prevent their acceptance of this great salvation.” The Doctor's pen was employed upon several other performances of Mr. Reynolds. His “Compassionate Letter to the Poorer part of the Christian World” he revised, divided it into sections, and omitted in one of the last editions, the word “poorer” in the title-page, thinking it of universal adaptation. A Latin epitaph on “Bigotry,” inserted in the Occasional Papers, No. 6, vol. iii. he also translated, and transferred it to his own Miscellaneous Thoughts. I

The benevolence of Watts's character, and the usefulness of his life, did not secure him from the derision of the wits, and the censures of the critics. In an early edition of the Dunciad, his name was introduced, in connexion with that of the elder Wesley, the rector of Epworth. The circumstances which led to his being honoured with a niche in the temple of the

* This Preface is not inserted in Watts's Works.
+ See p. 324.
# Miscell. Thoughts, No. 20.

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